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'We may never be able to completely avoid such tragic events,' one reader writes, 'but we may be able to mitigate the damage. Military-style training exercises for the RCMP, with eerily realistic scenarios, would go a long way.'

John Morris/Reuters

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Sadness for Nova Scotia

Re Mountie Recalls Manhunt: ‘We Wish We Could’ve Done More’ (April 27): My heart has been heavy since hearing the news from Nova Scotia. After this article, I was angry that the RCMP seems to have learned little since the Mayerthorpe, Alta., shootings in 2005.

The killer in Mayerthorpe was at large, as was the man in Portapique. The RCMP in Nova Scotia established a perimeter “thinking” they had the crime scene area contained, tunnel vision which turned out to be a fatal mistake.

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I usually have an RCMP flag outside my home, but it recently tore from high winds. As I was mending it, a sense of great loss came over me. I thought about how poignant the moment was, and how “broken” I’ve found the RCMP to be for many years.

Janet Lenover Retired RCMP; Waterdown, Ont.


We may never be able to completely avoid such tragic events, but we may be able to mitigate the damage. Military-style training exercises for the RCMP, with eerily realistic scenarios, would go a long way.

Some of these veteran officers, along with the management advising them, were in this situation for the first time. Of course they made mistakes, and sadly one paid the ultimate price. Inquiries rarely inspire meaningful change. We ask these remarkable people to put their lives on the line for us every day. The least we can do is give them the tools and training required.

Art Dewan Kentville, N.S.

Pays for itself

Re Lessons From The Way We Paid For WWII (Editorial, April 28): My former boss at A.E. Ames & Co. was involved in the successful 1940s war-bond campaign. At a celebratory party later, as he would tell it, he asked then-Bank of Canada governor Graham Towers, “How will we ever repay this debt?” The instant reply was, "It is nothing that 2- or 3-per-cent inflation won’t cure.”

Don McGill Toronto

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Enemies closer?

Re National Bank CEO Decries Saudis’ 'Economic Warfare’ (Report on Business, April 25): Why would Louis Vachon suggest that Canada co-ordinate with the United States on a foreign-policy response to energy security? The U.S. seems to act like countries he decries, “who pretend to be our friends from a diplomatic and military front, who are acting a completely different way on the economic front.”

Foreign isn’t always a long way from home.

Glen Cathcart Anmore, B.C.

Health care diagnoses

Re Health Care Lessons From The Pandemic (Editorial, April 25): When the urgency of the COVID-19 crisis calms, there will be lessons learned.

We should stabilize the sustainability of our health care system and stop subjecting it to four-year election cycles. Investments in primary and community-based care see huge returns in terms of population health and should not be the target of cuts.

We agree with enhanced capacity for after-hours care and reduced dependency on emergency rooms. The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) continues to advocate for our Patient’s Medical Home vision of inter-professional family practices, which reduces ER visits, lowers hospitalization rates and improves adherence to preventive health measures.

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Right now, virtual care is helping patients keep important medical appointments, and accessible care should be supported and expanded after the pandemic. The CFPC, Canadian Medical Association and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada recommended investments and enhancements in virtual care before COVID-19. Our current situation should encourage us not to rely on catastrophes to properly fund and sustain our cherished health care system.

Francine Lemire MD CM, CCFP, FCFP, executive director and CEO, College of Family Physicians of Canada; Mississauga


I believe The Globe’s editorial relies on the widely disproven concept of the inappropriate emergency room visit.

There are certainly many people who present to our country’s ERs with a retrospective determination of a non-urgent illness, and there is no dispute that primary-care access is a problem. It is also true that altruism and fear have substantially lowered ER volumes during the pandemic by as much as 50 per cent. However, the type of patient who can “ride it out at home” has never been the problem.

The issue, rather, is that a crowded hospital leads to backlogs in the ER and delays in access to care. Most hospitals routinely exceed 100-per-cent occupancy. During this crisis, drastic attempts at restoring surge capacity through the cancellation of surgeries has led to hospital occupancy rates of about 75 per cent. This, in part, has led to much smoother transitions of care in hospitals, speedier visits and empty waiting rooms.

Going forward, we should acknowledge the effect of crowded hospitals on ER capacities.

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Alan Drummond MD, co-chair, public affairs, Canadian Association Of Emergency Physicians; Ottawa

Just a temporary thing

Re Foodora To Halt Canadian Operations (Report on Business, April 28): A month or so after a ruling that allowed its workers to unionize, and potentially earn a living wage and enjoy some security, Foodora concludes there is “too much competition” in Canada to remain a viable business. This comes after five years of trying, before the possibility they would have to pay fair wages.

I believe the Foodora situation speaks to the viability of the entire gig economy – the jitney taxi drivers, grocery shoppers, restaurant-delivery runners and itinerant handy people. The entire premise seems based on two things: making developers of “disruptive technology” rich, and financing that wealth through the precarious lives lived by those who actually do the productive work. Most often they are hired as underpaid independent contractors – when in reality they should be considered employees, and entitled to fair wages and benefits.

I don’t find these apps particularly unique or disruptive – any product or service can be delivered this way. These businesses provide a benefit to consumers and they would be missed. Just as they should compensate their workers fairly, consumers should also pay a little more. If the service in question is genuinely of value, we should be prepared to assume the real cost.

Michael Greason Toronto

Incomplete grade

Re Some Overwhelmed Parents Are Giving Up, Opting To Abandon Pandemic At-home Schooling (April 28): My daughter went back to teaching this year. She also has two boys and a husband with a demanding job. With the pandemic she has had to start from scratch, making lesson plans in a new teaching environment.

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She still plans daily lessons – all while running the household, taking her boys out for exercise every day and helping with their homework. Now she is being asked to play catch-up next year for children whose parents won’t do their jobs as parents right now. They have got to be kidding.

In this age of what I call “no parenting,” I wish families luck when the kids are grown and let loose onto society. Parents are supposed to be parents, not friends, who are supposed to steer their kids through life.

Marlane Tibbs Mississauga


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